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Does anyone know of any data (published or otherwise) on tree trunk diameters
from the Yixian Formation?
I know many silicified trunks have been collected, and I have read the data on
the occurrences of fossil wood taxa. But none that I've read mention the
diamters. That would be a first step toward figuring out the canopy structure.
I am thinking in terms of emergents, canopy, and sub canopy plants.
Interestingly, most extant conifer families have members that span from
prostrate ground covers to 50 meter canopy trees. Thus foliage alone is of
little use in determining whether different taxa were tall or short.
There is the excellent paper:
Howard J. Falcon-Lang and David J. CantrillTerrestrial paleoecology of the
Cretaceous (early Aptian) Cerro Negro Formation, South Shetlands Islands,
Antarctica; a record of polar vegetation in a volcanic arc environment
Which suggests that some Early Cretaceous forests had araucarians and podocarps
as the canopy trees. But Yixian also had cheirolepids which, in other habitats,
can have trunks 70cm in diameter. I wonder if they could have been emergents.
Also is anyone familiar with this paper?
Journal of Precious Metallic Geology》 2003-01
STUDY ON THE PALEOECOLOGY OF YIXIAN FORMATION IN BEIPIAO AREA, WESTERN LIAONING
PROVINCE, CHINA DING Qiu-hong, ZHANG Li-dong, GUO Sheng-zhe, ZHANG Chang-jie,
PENG Yan-dong, JIA Bin, CHEN Shu-wang, XING De-he (1. Institute of Resources
and Civil Engineering, Northeast University, Shenyang 110004, China; 2.
Shenyang Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources, Shenyang 110033, China)
It suggests four communities based on two diagnostic taxa each, but the
abstract does not mention the distribution of several other common tree species
in the Yixian Formation. I assume that the text is only available in Chinese.